Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Trent Jamieson, guest blogging

Australia isn't just Sydney, though that city sits there, big and bold and arguably the country's heart. People seem to think that we're a rural country. But most of us live in cities. And all our cities are different.

I live in Brisbane. It's a pretty city. (I like the word pretty. It's the first word my wife said as a baby, which I think is cool, but that's beside the point). I like Brisbane at sunset. I live in inner city Brisbane, well the edge of, and you can still walk down the street at sunset and see the night creatures coming out. At the right time of year flying foxes stain the sky with their passage, possums skitter across the powerlines, and scrub turkey's, after skilfully navigating the traffic, find roost in the trees or in leaf litter in people's backyards.

Brisbane isn't Sydney. Smaller for one thing, easier to get around, has a manageable skyline, all wrapped up in a river - patient, deep and dark and prettiest at night. It's a pretty city, a tawdry pretty, but also an elegant pretty.

Particularly at sunset. The sun loses itself behind Mt Coot-tha. Yesterday, sun setting, and me looking west as I walked home from work, I saw a whole bunch of scrub turkeys nesting in a tree in the middle of town, squabbling and squawking, big ugly birds, and, in the sunset, they were pretty, graceful silhouettes.

I wasn't born here. I grew up in a small country town, but when I moved to Brisbane, I fell in love with the place.

Some people call Brisbane a big country town. It isn't. It's a small, pretty city.

Things will change. The city's growing. The river's waiting to flood, it has drowned the place before. But, right now, just this moment. The sun setting. It's perfect.

Trent Jamieson's first book "Reserved for Travelling Shows" comes out through Prime any day now.


At 3:46 AM, Anonymous Clare said...

Some beautiful Australian blogs here - on Sydney and now on Brisbane - really bring the places alive for those of us that have much less exotic wild-life (I am talking sparrows, mainly).

I had a great uncle called Bris. I always thought it was short for some long Welsh word, but I learnt recently his full name was Brisbane - named after your city. Apparently his father had been pretty impressed with the place when he passed through. I guess that must have been in the early twentieth century.


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